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2008 Honda CRF230L Preview



The new CRF230L is exactly what Honda fans have been waiting for. It fills a void once created by the dismissal of the XL250L, a dual-purpose bike that used to be very popular.

The CRF230L is based on a lightweight, semi-double-cradle, high-tensile steel frame with box-section aluminum swingarm. It benefits from strong yet lightweight aluminum rims that improve handling. The 37-mm Showa front fork offers 9 inches of suspension travel, resulting in 9.5 inches of overall ground clearance. In the back is a heavy-duty single shock calibrated to offer the best balance between road and trail riding. As for the brakes, the CRF230L features a powerful 240-mm front disc and 220-mm rear disc.

A unique fuel tank
The seat, which is slightly lower than most competition bikes, instils confidence in smaller riders and beginners alike. The thick, nicely-molded rubber handgrips were designed to reduced unwanted vibrations. The CRF230L is also equipped with stylish plastic guards that protect the steel fuel tank in the event of a fall -- a must-have feature on a dual-purpose machine.

Proven reliability
Power comes from a 4-stroke engine that proves simple yet dynamic. It delivers plenty of low- and mid-range grunt, which makes it easier to get used to this bike. Honda developed this 223-cc, SOHC, air-cooled, single-cylinder powerplant as a low-cost solution, but the fact of the matter is, it remains particularly efficient and, more importantly, extremely reliable -- two vital attributes for this type of mount.

Other mechanical features include a traditional carburetor with 30-mm piston (for crisp throttle response at higher revs) as well as an easy-to-use 6-speed transmission delivering precise shifts. The heavy-duty secondary shaft and rear wheel are made of high-tensile steel to increase the durability of the final drive.

In short, the Honda CRF230L is designed to offer tons of fun at a low price. Thanks to a host of functional features, a modern design and Honda's reliability record, this new CRF will most certainly enjoy as much success as its predecessor.

Photo Credit : Honda